5/25 Rule of Warren Buffett

By Y K Gupta                        Updated on February 12, 2021

5/25 rule of Warren Buffett depicted by arrows in shooting target

5/25 rule of Warren Buffett is basically a rule of training your focus on a few more important goals rather than letting it get scattered on so many goals.

Story behind the 5/25 rule of Warren Buffett

It is believed that one day Warren Buffett asked his private pilot Mike Flint.

Buffett asked, “Since when you are working for me as a pilot, Flint?”

Since last 10 years, replied Flint.

Then Warren Buffett said, oh that means I am not doing my job of development of my employees.

After that Buffett asked Flint to prepare a list of his 25 long term goals.

Flint followed the instructions of his boss, Warren Buffett, and prepared a list of his 25 long term goals and came back to discuss the list with Warren Buffett.

Then Warren Buffett said, OK, now encircle those 5 goals which are most important for you.

Flint encircled 5 goals and replied, OK, Sir, these are the 5 most important goals I want to achieve.

Then Warren Buffett asked to Flint, “What you are going to do with remaining 20 goals in the list?”

Flint replied I would focus on these 20 goals less, whenever I get time after giving attention to my first 5 goals.

And 5/25 rule of Warren Buffett emerged

Now Warren Buffett told, it is believed, sternly to Flint “No, you just strike them out of your list and focus only on those top 5 goals you have encircled. As these are the goals which you are required to give your full attention.”

“If you let your focus wander from your top goals or priorities in your life, Flint, then with the scattered focus, your achievements will be little and you will most likely remain in a status quo.”

“First give complete attention to your top 5 goals and focus on them completely without letting you distracted by your remaining 20 goals. And when you have achieved your top 5 goals then repeat the exercise once again.”

And this is the story behind the emergence of 5/25 rule of Warren Buffett.

Flint  followed this 5/25 rule of Warren Buffett and worked on the top 5 goals of the list and struck out the remaining 20 goals from his list of most important long term goals.

Flint, then successfully founded ‘Vision Airlines’, one of his most important goals in his life.

However, he has gone overboard in expansion of his airline and his airline has fallen from grace up to some extent.

But still, he is now an entrepreneur of repute and founder of a private airline which owns a fleet of several airplanes.

For those who prefer to learn from visuals, this animation video explains the 5/25 rule of Warren Buffett so well-

How 5/25 rule of Warren Buffett works

The rule basically works for you on the principle of process of elimination.

And in the application of process of elimination principle, you have to eliminate what is not important or less important in favor of what is more important for you.

This results in release of energy for you from your less important goals.

And then you can divert this freed up energy towards achieving your more important goals, resulting in their quick achievement.

So as you can now concentrate on your most important goals with the increased focus.

In fact, process of elimination can be done up to the extent when only one most important long term goal remains in focus.

How can you get benefited from 5/25 rule of Warren Buffett

For getting any benefit from this rule or from any other principle or rule you have to follow that rule in letter and spirit.

So first of all follow the advice of Warren Buffett of creating the list in writing of your 25 long term goals.

And after giving a deep thought on the items you have listed, find out the most important 5 goals for you and eliminate the remaining 20 less important goals.

Now, give your undivided attention to these top 5 goals and fully focus on them, shunning away all the distractions.

Further, in addition to your long term goals, you can also use this amazing, result oriented 5/25 rule of Warren Buffett for achieving your short and medium term goals.

So create your list and start working towards your most important goals, fully focused on them.

Wish you all the best in your pursuit of achieving your goals!

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Y K Gupta


Published by Y K Gupta

Author, Blogger, former AGM State Bank of India (SBI)

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